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Ruizhi Ma M.A.


Ancient Philosophy and History of Ancient Science (APhil/HistAS)


Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Research Training Group
Philosophy, Science and the Sciences
Hannoversche Str. 6
10115 Berlin

08/2017  07/2019
Master/ Department of the History of Science,Tsinghua University

09/2018  03/2019
Visiting scholar/ Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, Indiana University

08/2011  07/2017
Bachelor/ Peking University

Avicenna's Theory of Color Perception in Context

In this dissertation project, I will concentrate on Avicenna’s theory of color perception, which is one of Avicenna's most refined discussions, in the third book of Kitāb al-Nafs in Kitāb al-Šifāʾ and interpret it in context. The first part of my work is to identify Avicenna’s Greek and Arabic sources. Accordingly, the second part will draw upon the first part to elaborate his theory comprehensively, since his own account is often buried in his sophisticated counter-arguments. One further part of my work is to locate this theory into his whole philosophical project, and to evaluate and to defend the merits of his theory in the landscape of relevant philosophical discussions of color. In other words, I endeavor to offer a historical, philological as well as philosophical account of Avicenna’s texts. As I envision, a systematic analysis of Avicenna’s theory of color perception will shed new light on our current understanding of his theory of perception and help us better appreciate the strengths of Avicenna’s philosophy of mind, epistemology and metaphysics. I will also focus on the interaction between color philosophy and color science before and after Avicenna, which can both be revealed in his various sources and in the receptions of and the responses to his theory of color perception.